UPDATE: Overhaul of Erlanger in Chattanooga stopped at Hamilton County Commission

UPDATE: Overhaul of Erlanger in Chattanooga stopped at Hamilton County Commission

March 20th, 2013 by Louie Brogdon in Local - Breaking News

The Erlanger Baroness campus.

The Erlanger Baroness campus.

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

A bill to overhaul Erlanger hospital's board of trustees apparently is dead after it failed to garner a motion this morning at the Hamilton County Commission meeting.

The commission's Legal Committee voted earlier this morning not to recommend passage of legislation that reforms the governing body of Erlanger hospital.

Committee members met this morning to talk about the legislation. During a legal committee meeting last week, some had objected to key parts of the legislation and others said they needed more time to digest what it means.

The legislation to overhaul Erlanger's board of trustees was passed by the state House and Senate and signed by Gov. Bill Haslam. However, the commission must approve the legislation before it can take effect.

The bill whittles the existing 12-member board to nine trustees. To get the new board in place, the legislation provides that local legislators, "after consultation" with Hamilton County's mayor, will recommend initial appointees to the full General Assembly.

While the board will be self-perpetuating, the legislation also gives joint veto power to the seven-member Hamilton County legislative delegation and the Hamilton County Commission over appointments.

In addition, the legislation locks Hamilton County into paying $1 million a year for indigent care to Erlanger for five years, then adjusts the figure annually based on the Consumer Price Index. The index is a measurement of changes in retail prices in a variety of goods.

The county now contributes $1.5 million a year.

Commissioners have said they have issues with both the appointment process and the amount of money the county would be obligated to provide.